Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs Treat Menopausal Symptoms-Hot Flashes
Menopausal symptoms include hot flashes, a red face in the afternoon, night sweats, insomnia, heart palpitations, PMS, headache, vaginal atrophy, and vaginal dryness. Other symptoms that might relate to menopause include mood changes, nervousness, stress, anxiety, irritability, poor memory, incontinence, lowered libido, fatigue, weight gain, and pain.
Currently, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the principal and most commonly utilized treatment for menopause. Hormonal replacement therapy helps many women with the symptoms of menopause. However, recent studies have found that there may be increased risk of heart disease, cancer, and uterine bleeding or other health problems when women receive hormone replacement therapy over a longer period of time. Even with these risks, the desired results are not guaranteed – some women have taken hormone replacement therapy for years without substantial improvement of the symptoms. Under these conditions, hormone replacement therapies are not beneficial, and could cause negative side effects. Fortunately, women in the United States have access to acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatment options that control menopausal symptoms, without the negative side effects.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine have been used to treat menopausal symptoms for thousands of years. Commonly used individual herbs include Dang Gui (Angelica), Shan Yao (Chinese yam), Sheng Di Huang (Rehmannia), Bai Shao Yao (Paeonia), and Huang Bai (Phellodendron), among others. They are often used for menopause, irregular periods, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and infertility in Chinese medicine. There are also many effective formulas for menopausal symptoms, including Liu Wei Di Huang Wan, Dang Gui Liu Huang Wan, and Xiao Yao San. These formulas were devised two thousand years ago and are still used today. Well-defined acupuncture protocols have also been developed during both the remote and recent history of Chinese medicine, and are used in combination with Chinese herbs to relieve menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes. In addition to traditional acupuncture protocols, new techniques such as electric-acupuncture and auricular acupuncture are often employed for different conditions, and have proven effective for menopausal symptoms.
Today, most Chinese women who have menopausal symptoms first seek help from acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Since the 1960’s, clinical research in China has shown extremely positive results that acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine together are effective treatments for menopausal symptoms. Clinical researchers have reported that many women who are undergoing hormone replacement therapy for menopausal symptoms – even if they have undergone the treatment for a longer period of time – can stop hormone replacement therapy with the help of acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and see improvement in their symptoms. Current studies on acupuncture treatment of menopausal symptoms in the United States and Europe also show extremely positive results.
Generally, most women with menopausal symptoms who benefit from acupuncture and Chinese medicine first see improvements in emotional problems after two to three treatments. Subsequently, hot flashes and night sweats could be reduced after five to six treatments. Ultimately, the majority of symptoms improve after ten to twelve treatments. Women who used hormone replacement therapy were able to decrease the dosage after five to six treatments, accompanied with improved relief of hot flashes and night sweats, and were able to stop hormone therapy entirely after about ten treatments, coinciding with the disappearance of hot flashes. In general, a few more sessions of treatment are necessary after the reduction of menopausal symptoms in order to maintain lasting results.
Dr. Yang has treated menopausal symptoms for years using acupuncture and Chinese herbal formals. He has treated women on hormone replacement therapy, including patients who had undergone HRT for over ten years without the termination of obvious menopausal symptom like hot flashes, night sweats, poor sleep, and emotional problems. These conditions were improved, or symptoms were relieved, by using special techniques such as electric-acupuncture, auricular acupuncture and a combination of specific Chinese herbal formulas according to different conditions.